Jeff & Mason, we’re back to some casinos canceling concerts and changing some group events. At the National Indian Gaming Association Tradeshow this past July, I don’t know how many casino execs told me that they have not been able to open up to full capacity, especially in regards to their restaurants. Those of us at the show also saw lines and delays like never before. Is it time for an expectation adjustment from guests?


Mason: I believe the adjustments guest have made over the past year and a half are becoming normal. Public safety has been at the recent forefront of our world, and regardless of personal beliefs, we as humans have adapted based on a collective need to move forward. I believe we have a unique opportunity in light of the nearly two years we all have persevered through… We have a chance, with our guest to design and create a new, better, and safer expectation of gaming. If we work together to reach new solutions, we may be surprised how well we can do.

You’ve been able to get on the road and help both player development and guest service teams overcome some of those challenges listed above. At the end of the day, what conversations and concerns are you having with leadership that really stand out to you?


Mason: It has been a blessing getting back on the road, and our mission to help both player development and guest service professionals alike. It is an honor working side by side with some of the industry greats. Tackling problems and reaching innovative solutions together, while leveraging Business Improvement methodologies opens a new horizon for Tribal Gaming & Hospitality. Like a tool belt, use the right tool at the right time to complete the job. The conversations that are tough with Leadership, revolve around disbelief that the Business Improvement methodologies can help such a complex industries such as Tribal Gaming & Hospitality.. I promise you, we are not here to prove you wrong or sell you snake oil, we are simply here to help you improve and reach your operational goals. These methodologies are foundational in world renowned companies like Toyota, Virginia Mason Hospital, Adidas, and BP. And if life saving hospitals, and safety dependent refineries are practitioners, it doesn’t hurt to take a look. The end results, profitable employer, happy employees, satisfied customers.    

When it comes to player development and rewarding our best players, with many casinos having limited amenities (still), have there been any surprising solutions?


Mason: personally, I have not worked on a player development project directly yet, but very eager to. And through efforts of helping firms that do directly impact player development, indirectly we have helped by showing and teaching them Business Improvement Methodologies. My suggestion is to define our best players and common players wants and needs and deliver them in a new safe way that highlights the experiential nature of Gaming.

Our team members have gone through so much over these past 18 months: many have seen their duties expanded or shifted, many have seen their hours cut or they’re putting in lots of overtime because they are understaffed. How are organizations keeping their team members motivated?



If there is to be a positive to all of this, what tactics were born out of this crisis that you think are a positive?

  • Casinos showing a commitment to their people by keeping as many team members on payroll as possible during the closures.
  • Putting out a strong and effective message to guests and team members alike that their safety and well-being is a number one priority and the property will not compromise on that.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing procedures that I think you are going to see kept up for a long time or indefinitely (cleanliness is huge on a guest’s list of priorities).
  • I can’t say for sure that this has happened, because my evidence is mainly anecdotal, but a focus on more individualized and personal rewards to guests rather than single big crowd-inducing promotions, like car giveaways, that I think are counterproductive (and were, of course, a no-no during the pandemic).
  • A keener focus on the gambler and the experience that they have playing as a core guest with all the other stuff shut down. [CHANGE TO OUR WORDS]

About Lean Revisions: When it comes to creating self-sustaining guest service and player development programs, Steve Browne has assisted Tribal and commercial casinos for going on three decades through his work as a Partner with Raving Consulting, a Native-owned organization. From creating start-up programs for small rural Tribal casinos with under 100 team members to designing advanced training for high-tech gaming organizations, Steve understands the challenges that operators face.

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